• Short Summary

    Many Manila Catholics have blamed recent flooding in the Philippines on the theft of a sacred statue.

  • Description

    Many Manila Catholics have blamed recent flooding in the Philippines on the theft of a sacred statue. On Tuesday (August 1), President and Mrs. Marcos showed vast crowds in the capital the recovered statue of the Infant Jesus.

    The statue is regarded as a symbol of good-luck and protection. It was stolen last month when thieves broke into the Church of Santa Nina, Manila. During television appeals for the statue's return, the city's Mayor blamed the floods on its theft -- and the story rapidly gained popularity.

    Latest casualty figures from the floods place the number of dead at nearly 400. But morale in the capital has improved since the return of the statue. There's even been a slight let-up in the rain.

    SYNOPSIS: Thousands of Manila Catholics crowded outside the Presidential Palace on Tuesday to give thank for the return of a sacred statue. Many people in the Philippines associated the theft of the statue last month with the disastrous floods and earthquakes that have been bringing ???astation to the country.

    Mrs. Marcos, wife of the President, helped display the four-foot high statue of the Infant Jesus to the waiting crowds. Catholics regard this statue as a symbol of good luck and protection. It has been in Manila's Church of Santa Ni??? the Spanish left it then three-hundred years ago. Thieves had broken into the church several times before the statue was finally stolen.

    During July, the Mayor of Manila made several television appeals for the return of the statue. He said the theft was responsible for the floods--a story that rapidly gained in popularity. Latest reports from flooded areas say the casualty toll is now up to nearly four-hundred deaths. But in the capital, morale has risen since thestatue's return. There's even been slight easing in the rainfall. President Marcos has ordered that the statue should be kept securely from ???w on.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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